Be transported into a magical world where not everything is quite what it seems. Deliciously scary Hansel & Gretel and well-loved classic Rumpelstiltskin meet some lesser known fairy stories from the Brothers Grimm… How might a mouse, a bird and a sausage get on? Who are the Musicians of Bremen? And just how can a hedgehog outrun a hare?
The Brothers Grimm, Jacob (1785 - 1863) and Wilhelm (1786 - 1859), were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, lexicographers and authors who together specialised in collecting and publishing folklore during the 19th century. They were among the best-known storytellers of folk tales, and popularised stories such as ‘Cinderella’, ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and ‘Rumpelstiltskin’. Their first collection of folk tales was published in 1812.
The brothers spent their formative years in the German town of Hanau. Their father’s death in 1796 caused great poverty for the family and affected the brothers for many years after. They both attended the University of Marburg where they developed a curiosity about German folklore, which grew into a lifelong dedication to collecting German folk tales.
With the goal of researching a scholarly treatise on folk tales, they established a methodology for collecting and recording stories that became the basis for folklore studies. Between 1812 and 1857, their first collection was revised and republished many times, growing from 86 stories to more than 200.
The popularity of the Grimms’ collected folk tales has endured well. The tales are available in more than 100 languages and have been adapted by filmmakers and playwrights throughout the world.
Turning The Tower into Winchester's version of Babel
Blue Apple’s Grimm Tales is a selection of six stories from over 200 that the Brothers Grimm collected throughout their lifetimes. Hopefully, these six provide a variety of the better known and the lesser known. Also, of the light and the dark elements that the collection includes.
Whilst adapting these for the particular talents of the company – and many thanks to Craig Gardner for his work on this – it would be wrong to ignore the contribution of other writers and adaptors of the Grimms’ work. Most particularly the one made for The Young Vic by Carol Ann Duffy and Tim Supple and Philip Pullman’s more recent interpretations.
Grimm Tales has been developed over the past ten weeks; a comparatively short period of time, for Blue Apple, to come up with a finished production. In order to maximise the time we’ve, generally, worked on all of the stories simultaneously. Whilst occasionally turning The Tower into Winchester’s version of Babel – with groups working in the foyer and the corridor as well as the theatre and the studio – this has effectively maximised each performer’s individual contribution to the overall production. It has also provided greater opportunities for more company members to feature more prominently.
Everyone, with the exception of the Core touring company (who also feature in The Magic Table) has worked purely on one story, rehearsing throughout the period, with an assistant director appointed from within each particular group. Meanwhile, I’ve spent my time fleeing from one story to the next.
I hope you enjoy the fruits of all our endeavours and that, whilst most definitely Grimm, the evening proves to be an enjoyable one.
Cast & Crew
The Musicians of Bremen:
James Elsworthy - Reporter / Robber
David Hunt - Man with Donkey / Robber
Katie Appleford - Donkey
Aaron Pressman - Reporter / Robber
Andrew Malster - Dog
Alice Peck - Cat
Ryan Nicholas - Cockerel
Eleanor Brooks - Reporter
Rea Lillywhite - Robber
Hansel & Gretel:
James Benfield - Hansel
Hannah Lowe - Gretel
Katy Frances - Witch
Jossie Kirby - Woodcutter
Daisy Searle - Chorus
George Berry - Chorus
Ed Willsher - Chorus
Phailin Chanphian - Chorus
The Hedgehog & The Hare:
George Tall - Narrator
Ollie Yeats-Brown - Narrator
Sue Dashper - Narrator
Charles Williamson - Narrator
Georgie Howells - Narrator
Lawrie Morris - Mr. Hedgehog
Ellie Moody - Mrs. Hedgehog
Dan Austin - Hare
Henry Fuller - Narrator
Ros Davies - Narrator
Jason Kidd - Miller
Katie Cole - Miller’s Daughter
Tommy Jessop - King
Lucy Parrot - Rumpelstiltskin
Emma Rabjohn - Servant
Coleen Cadoret - Servant
Rachel Osbourne - Servant
The Mouse, The Bird & The Sausage:
Chris Pearce - Narrator
James Smith - Mouse
Anna Brisbane - Bird
Neil White - Sausage
Tad Buxton - Narrator / Another Bird
Fergus Horsfall - Narrator / Dog
The Magic Table, The Golden Donkey and The Cudgel in The Sack:
Tommy Jessop - Father
Lawrie Morris - 1st Son
James Benfield - 2nd Son
James Elsworthy - 3rd Son
Ros Davies - Goat / Golden Donkey
Katie Appleford - Joiner / 2nd Donkey
Katy Frances - Landlady
Aaron Pressman - Miller / Cudgel
Anna Brisbane - Turner
All other parts played by members of the company
Direction - Peter Clerke
Asst. Direction (The Musicians of Bremen) - Michelle Pluck
Asst. Direction (The Hare & The Hedgehog) - Ollie Yeats-Brown
Asst. Direction (Rumplestiltskin) - Rachel Osbourne
Asst. Direction (The Mouse, The Bird & The Sausage) - Chris Pearce
Choreography - Caroline Hotchkiss
Design - Molly Syrett
Costume - Jenni Sundheim
Script Consultancy - Craig Rickard
Production Management - Maria Chirca
Lighting Design - Joe Price
Stage Management - Michelle Pluck / Rachel Osbourne
Graphic Design - Richard Williams
Music Selection - Louise Sarton
Thursday 4, Friday 5, Saturday 6 December 2014 7.30pm
The Tower, Kings’ School, Romsey Road, Winchester